Overdrive‘s Rearview series is a new recurring monthly feature taking a historical look at the trucking industry through the lens of archived editions of Overdrive.
Founding Overdrive editor and publisher Mike Parkhurst wasn’t shy about employing theatrics, especially when it came to fighting against Teamsters, lawmakers or the rail industry.
In 1962, a year after Overdrive began publication, Parkhurst formed the Independent Truckers Association as a means to rally the magazine’s readership around common causes. ITA state chapters worked to assert truckers’ views into policy discussions across all levels of government.
Parkhurst used the group to initiate trucker rallies and shutdowns, form national meetings and promote ITA-backed policies with truck banners, among other activities. The group also offered members discounts on trucking equipment and services.
ITA’s protests are partially credited with deregulating the industry in 1980, along with reducing Teamster influence within trucking.
Parkhurst also launched the similar grassroots-level Roadmasters, whose goals were akin to ITA. It fizzled out in the mid-1980s when Overdrive ownership changed hands and Parkhurst was no longer affiliated.