Overdrive‘s Rearview series is a new recurring monthly feature taking a look back at major trucking issues through the lens of archived editions of Overdrive.
Overly picky roadside inspectors, untimely but necessary equipment repairs and a highway full of unseasoned truckers may sound like 2016 owner-operator annoyances. But as evidenced by these 1970s cartoons from Overdrive, they’re problems that have persisted for nearly a half-century.
In its second decade, the 1970s, Overdrive began a monthly Clutch-a-Caption contest. Readers submitted humorous and colorful commentary as captions for a cartoon. Winners received $25, and later $50.
In each month’s issue, Overdrive published a new captionless cartoon, along with the previous month’s cartoon with its winning caption.
In addition to their takes on repairs and roadside enforcement, the cartoons also reveal problems of a bygone era, such as managing a pre-deregulation patchwork of rules caused by state-to-state variability in trucking laws, as well as unapologetic sexism.