April 2002

THE OLD-TIMERS STILL REMEMBER

“Six Days on the Road,” first a hit for Dave Dudley in 1963, mentions passing “a Jimmy and a White” and being checked by “the ICC.” Many younger truckers don’t get those references.

“What does that mean?” a fan recently asked in an online trucking newsgroup.

As truckers explained, “Jimmy” (or “Gimmy”) meant a GMC truck, while White trucks were made by the White Motor Corp., bought by Volvo in 1981.

The ICC, a target of Overdrive editorials for decades, was the federal Interstate Commerce Commission, which set rules and rates for trucking. Deregulation in 1980 took away much of the ICC’s power, and the agency finally closed in 1995.

Since Dudley, many artists have recorded “Six Days on the Road,” including Red Simpson, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Taj Mahal, Steve Earle and Boxcar Willie. Sawyer Brown’s hit 1997 version changed “little white pills” to “little white lines” but left the ICC, the Jimmy and the White.


COMIC TRUCKER HARDLY FUNNY

A recent issue of the Marvel comic book Rogue, starring the young mutant hero played by Anna Paquin in the X-Men movie, shows considerable sympathy for mutants – but not for truckers.

The villain is a trucker who climbs into his cab drunk, pulls in front of a sports car, purposely tries to run down a man he doesn’t like (“Gonna teach you, you bastard!”), plows his rig through a gas station, then tells the police it was an accident.

After the trucker is arrested, his two burly friends threaten Rogue in a bar and get beaten up. “I’ve been waiting a long time to see them get theirs,” the barkeep says.


QUOTABLES

Too much information

“We’re going to know what kind of underwear these guys are wearing.”

– International-trade specialist Jim Giermanski, arguing that U.S. inspections of Mexican trucks will be thorough

Don’t give them ideas

“They could have rented chauffeur-driven limousines and taken them to those meetings and spent less than using the airplane.”

– Lane Kidd, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, on the $102,000 state highway commissioners spent flying – not driving – to meetings in 2001


A BAD WAY TO AVOID LUMPER FEES

Instead of hauling a load of Budweiser to North Carolina as scheduled, a trucker parked at a busy intersection in Syracuse, N.Y., not far from the brewery, and started selling beer for $10 a case, police say. The trucker was charged with felony grand larceny.

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