Roadside Attractions

Driver for Landstar-leased fleet in Oprah magazine

Cleveland-based Shannon "Sputter" Smith (pictured, courtesy of Women in Trucking), a driver for a Landstar-leased small fleet, got into on-highway hauling as the youngest child of a father who worked on trucks for a living. As told by Jeanne Marie Laskas in Oprah magazine, her story is an inspiring one for any woman thinking of entering the business of trucking. Telling her mechanic father that she was going to become a truck driver someday -- in ...

Read More

Two awesome class 8 motor coaches

The first comes by way of the Southeastern Regional Truck Show and the awesome pair of Hyler Bracey and Cass Flagg, the former of whom you may well remember as one of the folks behind the "Big Horn" moving museum(click through that link for a story about its conception.Some years later, Bracey was looking for a way to ride in style to antique tractor and truck shows from his Atlanta-area home base with Cass and ...

Read More

New Android app provides IFTA assist

Owner-operators packing an Android-powered smartphone can use a new free tool to track fuel purchases and drive miles by state -- right on your smartphone. The SimpleIFTA app makes doing so relatively easy, taking paper out of the process (click through the image to download if you're reading on a smartphone, scan the QR below with your device if not). "It's called simple due to being so easy to use," the makers say. "Enter your odometer ...

Read More

Driver reunited with lost pup

Have you heard the one about the truck driver whose Yorkie pup slips out of the truck while he's cooling his heels briefly at a Missouri rest area? Well, all's well that ends well, and that one does, USA Today reported yesterday. The driver, Michael Siau, "didn't realize that Rambo had slipped out of his long-haul truck while he was stretching his legs at a rest stop in Hannibal, Mo.," wrote Douglas Stanglin. He made ...

Read More

IRT without Lisa Kelly: Downer for many fans

With Ice Road Truckers' sixth season premiere on the History Channel last Sunday, fans were reportedly bummed by the absence of the biggest star the show's produced, trucker Lisa Kelly. (Find my 2010 interview with her here.) On Overdrive's Facebook page, one commenter went farther: "Looks like this will be the worst season ever. Hot dogs, hot heads, and idiots," he wrote. "The show has run its course." On Truckers News' page, commenters were more split in ...

Read More

Photo: Face of a longtime driver damaged by sunlight

A stunning photo from the New England Journal of Medicine shows the damaging effects of ultraviolet sunlight on the left side of a 69-year-old longtime truck driver's face.

Read More

Move some tarps, get some tarps

If the Tarps Plus company has its way, you may well in future take a load of its tarps and get paid in, well, tarps. Check out this story on the San Francisco Chronicle's website, which quotes Tarps Plus president Michael Stein on the "no-brainer" that is a new program looking to barter company tarps for trucking services, part of a growing business-to-business trend that looks for alternatives to traditional cash transactions. A neat idea, but just ...

Read More

What does your fuel surcharge look like?

A poll that asks for owner-operators' thoughts on the use of fuel surcharges as a cushioning agent against spikes in fuel prices sparked some discussion on Facebook last week. Owner-operators Linda Caffee, Jeff Clark and others were involved, Clark taking the point of view that fuel surcharges were merely a utility for negotiating long-term rates in contracts with shippers. The fuel surcharge "is a convenience, especially for longer-term contracts with regular customers," Clark wrote. "Otherwise every load ...

Read More

From the shop to the road: One operator’s 359

This 1986 Peterbilt 359 is the result of a three-year project conducted from 2007-10 by owners Wayne and Kelly Ziegenfuss, today leased to Bennett Motor Express and hauling mining equipment to Arizona, coming back with copper, on a step deck from a Hendersonville, N.C., home base. I met the pair at the Southeastern Regional Truck Show in April. They located the base truck in Virginia and did all the work themselves putting it back into operating/show ...

Read More

Bogan case: More reasons to choose a carrier carefully

The Bogan case may be best viewed in the context of tried-and-true advice: be smart and choosy about who you run for. You never know when you may need the boss to go to bat for you rather than hanging you out to dry by being forced out of business.

Read More