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Todd Dills

Introducing the Parkers’ Coronado — and rat — retooled; and more scenes from MATS

| March 23, 2018

It was an interesting first day at the Mid-America Trucking Show yesterday, not least among attractions the quite familiar/formerly “The Precious”-dubbed 2004 Freightliner Coronado of George and Wendy Parker. Since Wendy moved on from her blog here on Overdrive, the Parkers’ rig became the show vehicle for the Tough Tested line of products, and as such is parked prominently outside the North Wing of the Louisville Convention Center for MATS. Above, see what’s probably the best shot I got of it, after a couple in early morning as George contemplated just what to do about the glacier crawling down the roof line.

To wit …

George Parker

It’s gotten a nice makeover, though the paint work had been set down prior to the unit getting a 30-inch stretch to a 300-inch wheelbase, done by the crew at 4 State Trucks in Joplin, Mo.

A vinyl tank and side-box wrap, in addition to an added stripe, accentuate the paint, laid down in Minnesota in a process memorialized for eternity by Wendy Parker on her blog here in Overdrive last year.

New front bumper and rear T-bar, a custom-built headache rack, and new diamond-plate decking are among the adds/customizations — and, yes, you’re seeing that right, the rig doesn’t have a fifth wheel. As Wendy intimated previously, they’ll roll with the custom “Pupzilla” mini-rat rod built by Charlie Pacheco, eventually to sit on a rack over the tandems.

The cowling and running boards of the rat are from a 1926 International pickup. It’s powered by a 200cc Honda engine.

The rear box is from a 1932 Ford.

Detail at the edges of the hood.

Couple more scenes from MATS

I ran into Paul Marhoefer performing in the Pavilion across from the Truckers Final Mile booth. If you missed the trucker-songwriter’s pre-MATS performance with Jan and Donnie Gullett of Muscle Shoals Music from Nashville for the latest Overdrive Radio podcast, catch it here.

How many fleet CEOs might you see helping set up the booth for the company at Mid-America? Here’s John Elliott of Load One earlyl Thursday morning in the West Wing at MATS with a Load One expediting owner-operator’s straight rig.

“ATA wanted to level the playing field, well we’ll level the playing field.” –small fleet owner and Independent Carrier Group head Scott Jordan on a goal to provide owner-operators tools to maximize rates, in a Thursday seminar running through some of the features of his ICG ProfitCalc spot/contract-bid app and Trucking for Profit program, which I spoke with him about in this podcast

Former owner-operator and current independent dispatcher (“load optimizer” in the ICG’s “Trucking for Profit” program’s parlance), Scott Reed is pictured here at the ICG booth in the Pavilion area beyond the West Wing. Reed participated in the ICG seminar, where he outlined a few examples of how he uses the ProfitCalc app for results with the owner-operators he’s lately been working with personally in the Trucking for Profit program.

A few spots down from the ICG booth in the Pavilion, the ELD or Me/Trucker Nation booth got creative front-porch treatment from Andrea Marks — the 85, she explains, is a reference to an upcoming Twitter campaign the group is planning around “the other 85 percent,” or what they say is the percentage of the industry made up of smaller carriers and owner-operators. The group is putting on an event March 31 in Nashville featuring a talk by controversial former sheriff and current Arizona Senate candidate Joe Arpaio.

Speaking of ELDs — this one by the EzLogz company features social and other functions that include a walkie-talkie / CB-like function capable of group and one-on-one conversation utilize your iOS-powered smartphone or tablet (Android coming soon).

A classic cabover among the rigs in Illinois-headquartered Gully Transportation’s well-known stable. On its door, a fine message:

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