September 2001

Short hauls

Weekly $1,000 winners in the Money for Miles Sweepstakes at include Marianne Michaud of Rochester, N.H.; Caroline Clark of Columbus, Kan.; Ricky Carty of Garland, Texas; and Kelly Stansak of Scottdale, Pa. One registered user of the site will win $1,000 each week through May.

Jeffrey W. Runge, a doctor specializing in emergency medicine, was confirmed as the new leader of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Joseph Clapp, former CEO of Roadway Express, is President Bush’s nominee to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Freightliner announced layoffs of 123 workers at its Gastonia, N.C., plant. The company laid off plant workers in Mount Holly, N.C., and Cleveland, N.C., earlier this year.

More truck parking is needed along I-80, I-90 and U.S. 30, says a study by the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

Patriot Transportation Holding will shut down its owner-operator subsidiary, Patriot Transportation, which lost $1.5 million in nine months.

G.I. Trucking and Estes Express Lines announced a partnership, combining communication, administration and computer systems and using one another’s terminals but keeping management separate.

A 16-year-old hiker lost for four days in the San Bernardino National Forest in California was rescued when he flagged down a trucker, Mark Bower. William Parven of Los Angeles will be fine.

A driving instructor was killed at an Indiana truck stop when a trucking trainee accidentally backed into him during a parking exercise, crushing him between two semis. No charges were filed.

Alan Schafer, the South Carolina entrepreneur who turned a modest hot dog stand into the famed I-95 tourist trap South of the Border, notable for its giant sombrero-shaped observation tower and its incessant billboards featuring a mascot named Pedro, died after a long battle with leukemia. He was 87.

TravelCenters of America signed an agreement with Starbucks Coffee to feature a Starbucks store at its new flagship site in Lodi, Ohio.

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The kidnapping of 22-month-old Emily Propps resulted in prison sentences for Ulanda Kay McCulley and Brian Keith McCulley of Dexter, Mo., panhandlers who used the child to win sympathy at truck stops. Emily was found and returned to her parents in October with the help of truckers nationwide.

Love’s Travel Stop opened a location in Anna, Texas, its 23rd in the state.

Guilty of murder in the ambush shotgun slaying of Howard Alexander of Elkmont, Ala., is Jeff Jones, co-owner of Decatur, Ala., trucking company Rapid Express. Witnesses said the dispute was over a truck Jones had repossessed from Alexander.

Williams TravelCenters raised a record $365,000 for Junior Achievement through its 4th annual Williams TravelCenters Golf Classic at Hermitage Golf Course in Nashville, Tenn.

Sirius Satellite Radio will offer The Midnight Cowboy Trucking Radio Network 24 hours a day, seven days a week nationwide beginning late this year. Sirius will also offer four sports and entertainment channels from ABC Radio Network and 24-hour programming from E! Entertainment Television and E! Online.

The Truckload Carriers Association awarded Wanda Legette-Gause the $3,000 Kai Norris Memorial Scholarship and Holli Stork the $3,000 Thomas Welby Memorial Scholarship for the 2001-02 school year. The association also awarded 15 other scholarships worth $2,000 apiece.

The International Roadcheck 2001 was completed with 95 more truck inspections than last year; 8.4 percent fewer vehicles had violations. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance gave a Level 1 inspection to 42,795 commercial trucks operating in North America.

C.R. England now gives drivers, for a limited time, a choice after six months of leasing: keep leasing, hire on as company drivers, or simply walk away with no obligations. If the driver decides to stay with the company, unused maintenance reserve money may be used as a down payment on a truck.

Honored trucker recovering from stroke

Ted and Dolores Travis of Marion, Ky., the husband-wife owner-operators named 2001 Overdrive Truckers of the Year, report that Ted is expected to make a 99 percent recovery from the stroke he suffered in April.

In fact, the couple hopes to be back on the road this fall. “I don’t think he’d be satisfied, or me either, if we weren’t,” Dolores says, adding that they’re getting tired of sitting around the house. “I don’t know which of us will go crazy first!”

The Travises are selling their flame-red 2000 Peterbilt, Memory Maker, because it didn’t make sense to keep up the payments, Dolores says. When their carrier of nearly 19 years, National Carriers of Liberal, Kan., heard the news, it offered them another truck – an offer they’ll probably accept, she says.

“We’ve had a lot of company and a lot of calls and a lot of flowers, and we sure do appreciate it,” Dolores Travis says.

– Andy Duncan

Bekins presented four agents with the Overall Sales Leader award, seven agents with the Booker of the Year award, 10 agents with the Outstanding Low Claims award, and 10 agents with the Sales Growth Leader award.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America presented a Best of ITS award to Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate for its PrePass weigh station service. The award was presented at the 11th Annual Best of ITS Awards Banquet in Miami Beach, Fla.

FedEx Custom Critical appointed John Pickard president and CEO.

Fire destroyed Duke’s Truck Center on I-69 in Anderson, Ind., only a few hours after employees left the trailer sales and repair facility for the day.

The U.S. Department of Transportation began enforcing new drug and alcohol testing rules Aug. 1.

J.W. Eaves, the trucking company owner whose New Mexico ranch was a location for The Cheyenne Social Club, The Cowboys, Silverado, Young Guns and other Westerns, died of pneumonia. He was 85.

The corporate attorney who formerly settled accident claims for CRST International pleaded not guilty to charges she defrauded the trucking company of $600,000 by issuing checks to fictitious accident victims, doctors and insurers. Valli Jo Williams is set for trial in October.

Prizeworthy owner-operators sought

The Truckload Carriers Association and Overdrive are sponsoring TCA’s 15th annual Independent Contractor of the Year Contest, which offers more than $100,000 in prizes.

Owner-operators will be evaluated on their business success, safety records and contributions to the image of trucking. The preapplication form, due Sept. 28, is online at and

Finalists will be notified by Oct. 17 and asked to submit a more detailed application by Dec. 14. The winners will be announced at the TCA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, March 3-6, 2002.

Overdrive’s sister publication Truckers News is cosponsoring TCA’s competition for company drivers. For more information about these contests, contact Nancy O’Liddy at (703) 838-7936 or [email protected] or write to Truckload Carriers Association, c/o Contests, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.